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The future of robots.

Yes, future robotics will include non-humanoids, but by no means will humanoid or humaniform (Asimov) androids be absent.

Even if “true” AI (whatever that means) is impossible, the result will eventually be simulated by brute force. Watson is proof of concept for that.

There will be humanoid robots for at least five big reasons.

1. Military technology. Existing equipment is built around humans, and the utility of a human shaped robot that can operate any found/acquired equipment is obvious.

2. Society’s infrastructure is built for humanoid shapes. It makes little sense to build a box on wheels to navigate a world built for bipeds with hands when we can build a biped with hands.

3. The sex market. Gynoids are going to be made and the demand for complex behavior will be very high. Even now some people are satisfied by what are essentially synthetic corpses. But eventually the technology will become cheap enough to animate similar devices. At first they will go to sex industry sites, brothels and the like to supplement human workers but eventually they and their software (no pun intended) will replace human sex workers.

4. The jobs market. The easiest way to integrate robotics into new fields will be to replace workers and hardware. Hardware happens first and gradually. People could happen instantly, depending on the job and political situation. Regardless of the case specific reasons there are many places in said market where a humanoid robot would be preferred.

5. Pets. Hobbyist access to high technology will only increase. People like me if given the resources will build companion robots and will love them as much as any pet. These will come in every imaginable shape and size.

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